According to a recent survey conducted by AARP and the Ad Council, caregivers experience a strong, and often negative, effect as a result of the services that they provide for others.
The survey of adults who were currently caring for someone 50+ years old found that one in three caregivers reported feeling sad or depressed. An additional 44% of respondents said that they kept these feelings to themselves rather than talking about them with others.
Caregiving also affected individuals' behaviors, as respondents shared that they slept less (38%) and ate more (24%) since becoming a caregiver. One-third said that they had become more isolated, while 33% reported that they avoided making decisions.
"Family, friends and neighbors who support a loved one rarely see themselves as a caregiver," said Debra Whitman, executive vice president for policy strategy and international affairs at AARP. "And they almost never ask for help. But at some point in their lives most people will be a caregiver or need support."
AARP and The Ad Council developed the Caregiver Assistance Campaign, which includes a series of public service advertisements that aired on television, radio and online.